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    Posted February 8, 2013 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
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    The War on Terror 'Drones' On


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     k3vsDad told me, 'While many on the right believe anything should go when conducting war, I tend to believe that even when facing the enemy in life and death situations we must maintain the principles of the Constitution. How can we be as President George H.W. Bush said a “city on a hill” for the rest of the world unless we maintain a moral high ground? We should whenever possible mitigate the loss of civilian life and protect American lives. At the same time we must be vigorous in defense of the nation. It is a thin line, but we are in a new age and new kind of war. We need to reassess, regroup and redefine, where necessary, how to not only conduct war, but also peace and maintain the rule of law.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    Some  in the media and across the blogosphere have had a revelation this  week. The Administration of President Barack Obama is caring on a  controversial program which uses unmanned drones to seek out and destroy  terrorists no matter where on the globe they may be. At least from some  of the posts and the sudden frontpage coverage given to the program,  one would think this is a new issue or concern.

    The  spotlight on the drone program has been flicked on as John Brennan  appeared before a Senate committee Thursday as part of the confirmation  process. Brennan has been tapped by the President to be the new director  of the CIA. Brennan was first bandied as director four years ago, but  withdrew from consideration over questions about his role and statements  he made about the use of enhanced interrogation techniques while  serving in the CIA under former President George W. Bush.

    For those who follow and read my posts From the Cornfield and shared with CNN's iReport community know, I have asked questions and raised the issue of the  drone program for over a year. The increasing use of drones and striking  targets in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and other places around the world  led in part to an article I wrote on June 12th of last year, "Obama - The Warring President".

    At  the time I pointed out that history may see Obama, who won the Nobel  Peace Prize in 2009, as a warrior and not a peacenik. The President was  given the international prize on the hope that his actions would match  his rhetoric as he ran the first time to be leader of the free world.  That rhetoric appears to have given way to a hardline in dealing with  those on the so-called "kill list".

    There  were other reports about drones and questions raised about the legality  of use including authorization which led to killing American citizens  on foreign soil.

    1. Is the Obama Administration Violating the US Constitution?
    2. ACLU Takes on White House Over Drone Attacks
    3. Jimmy Carter: US Guilty of 'Widespread Abuse of Human Rights'
    4. US Drone Strike in Somalia Kills Al Qaida Leader
    5. The Obama Roundup - June 3rd Part 1

    There are serious questions that need answers about the use of drones by the Administration.

    Should the President and a few close advisers determine who is and who isn't targeted for death by drones?

    Should Congress have more oversight of the drone program?

    Should  there be a special court, a panel of jurists, to authorize writs to  strike or to do after-the-fact reviews of actions taken?

    Does  Congress and the President need to develop new laws and regulations  clearly defining the terminology of imminent, terrorist, the rights of  American citizens who choose to work for and with terror groups working  and seeking the destruction of the nation?

    Yes,  it is better to have drones taking out enemy position than exposing  troops on the ground to danger and death. Yes, we must confront terror  head-on. But should one branch of government or one small circle of  people act without any oversight in determining who may or may not be a  target or subjected to due process, especially when US citizens are  involved?

    We  cannot hide away the truth and shy from obligations and  responsibilities claiming "national security". Too often the nation  seems to be reactionary and acting on emotion rather than using rational  thought and dialogue to deal with issues and concerns.

    This  is evident when looking back to those days after 9-11 when The Patriot  Act was passed and intelligence and police agencies were brought under  the umbrella of Homeland Security. There were and are some good points,  but a lot of bad moves and decisions were made as well and continue as  law. The Congress, the President, we, the people reacted to the tragedy  emotionally rather than being more rational.

    Even  now with the current gun debate we are being reactionary and emotional  again on every side of the questions raised by four mass killings in one  year, most recently Sandy Hook.

    Isn't it time for rational and sane conversation and deliberation given to the drone program and the War on Terror?

    As  I noted last year, President Obama will probably go down in history as a  warrior and not a peacemaker. But shouldn't the footnotes not include  mention of indiscriminate or illegal targeting of American citizens or  the countless "collateral damage" of civilian innocents also killed by  the use of drones?

    We  need clarity on the drone program. We need to stress again that no one  is above the law nor can we circumvent the Constitution for the sake of  expediency or emotional outcry.

    From  the Cornfield, the use of drones is an invaluable tool, but that tool  must be used responsibly and within the confines of constitutional  scrutiny.

    Additional information: http://reuters.com/article/2013/02/08/us-obama-nominations-brennan-idUSBRE91516E20130208

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